Nations Moving Together For Economic Stability, OR FIRST STEP INTO NEW WORLD ORDER?

Central Banks Coordinate Global Cut

in Interest Rates

By KEITH BRADSHER, DAVID JOLLY and EDMUND L. ANDREWS

Central banks around the world cut short-term interest rates by up to half a percent on Wednesday after investors across Asia and Europe unleashed waves of sell orders onto already depressed stock exchanges.

The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and other central banks from Britain and Switzerland to Canada and China announced rate reductions within seconds of one another. The British government separately announced a plan to pump billions of pounds into the country’s leading banks as part of a plan that would result in considerably greater government influence over the financial sector there.

The Fed said in a statement that, because of weakening economic activity, it had cut the Federal funds target rate by half a percentage point, to 1.5 percent. It also cut its discount rate by the same amount. The vote was unanimous.

The European Central Bank cuts its benchmark rate to 3.75 percent, from 4.25 percent.

The moves had some initial effect on stock markets. European markets pared their heavy losses after the announcement, only to fall again. On Wall Street, investors showed little sense of direction.

The Dow Jones industrials lurched from a 200-point drop at the open to a 200-point increase just 45 minutes later. The Dow was slightly lower after 10:30 a.m., but continued to fluctuate widely.

Federal Reserve officials said Wednesday’s action was the first time ever that the Fed had coordinated a reduction in interest rates with other central banks, though the United States has periodically joined with other countries to intervene in currency markets to stabilize foreign exchange rates.

The closest thing to a precedent came in November 2001, when the Fed and the European Central Bank announced a rate reduction on the same day. But those actions were nominally independent, and they did not involve any additional foreign central banks.

The cut came despite what had been a divergence of views between the United States and Europe ever since the financial crisis erupted in August 2007. The European Central Bank had been much more reluctant to lower interest rates, because policy makers there tended to see the mortgage meltdown primarily as an American problem with secondary ripple effects in Europe.

But any lingering comfort outside the United States evaporated in the last week, as money markets froze up around the world and major corporations and banks across Europe began suffocating from their inability to do even routine financial transactions.

Making matters worse, none of the epic emergency measures taken in the United States — the passage of a $700 billion bailout plan to buy up distressed securities; a doubling and redoubling of emergency loan facilities at the Fed to $900 billion on Monday; and the Fed’s unprecedented decision on Tuesday to start buying up short-term commercial debt for businesses of all types — had prevented the stock markets from plunging at vertigo-inducing amounts day after day.

Some analysts responded positively to the news.

“At last, a coordinated show of force,” Ian Shepherdson, chief United States economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a note. “The move is to be applauded but there is more to come. The playbook to avoid depressions says rates need to be as close to zero as possible.”

Other economists were cautious about whether the various measures would be successful, after previous plans like the United States’ economic bailout have not halted steep declines in share prices.

“There’s no silver bullet for these problems,” said Derek Halpenny, a currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London. “But the actions by the Fed on Tuesday, the U.K. government’s bailout plan today and the bit-by-bit approach European governments are taking show the authorities are getting more proactive.”

Tumult in financial markets is starting to spill into Asian political systems. Japan’s prime minister, Taro Aso, promised a committee of Parliament on Wednesday that he would postpone national elections, which had been expected early next month, to focus on the unfolding financial crisis.

“Honestly, this for us is beyond our imagination,” Mr. Aso told the budget committee. “We have huge fears going ahead.”

Most Asian markets closed before the central banks acted, and share prices across the region suffered a drubbing.

Wall Street panic rolling over consumers worldwide

Wall Street panic rolling over consumers

worldwide

By Michael Conlon

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A London businessman may have to put off his wedding. A baker in Paris fears customers will disappear. A student in Slovenia sees an automobile loan fall out of reach. And a real estate agent in Chicago says she’s just plain scared.

The worst financial crisis since the 1930s was stark reality for millions on Wednesday as retirement savings evaporated, jobs disappeared, stock market values slipped again and a dramatic cut in interest rates by central banks from Europe to Asia did little to stem three weeks of near panic.

What the International Monetary Fund termed a major downturn for the world economy was already evident to many, like the elderly Illinois couple who said this week they’d stashed $100,000 in cash fearing a bank failure or U.S. automobile dealers hit with the worst sales slump in 15 years.

“I’m scared, really scared,” said Cathy Ivcich, 45, a Chicago real estate agent. “People have stopped buying houses. I’ve got a lot of buyers who have secure jobs or who have money, and I’m sure I could get them a loan. But they’re just scared. Their feet are stuck.”

She’s stopped going out to dinner and “all those canned goods in the pantry, we’re trying to find a way to use them,” she said.

In London 39-year-old Neil Taylor worried whether the money he’s earned from his scaffolding business is safe in the bank, and he may take it out. In the meantime he’s cut back spending and is “thinking about putting off my wedding.”

An angry fellow Londoner Steve Gallagher, 52, a building contractor, found it hard to believe “that common sense went out the window and greed flew in. It was a fool’s rush … I know that if I had committed what looks like fraud, I would be fired.”

Buenos Aires businessman Nelson Lampert, 25, has put off a trip to Cuba for the technology company where he works, fearing global uncertainty and the impact of running up dollar-based credit card debt during travel.

At a bakery shop in eastern Paris Latifa Mohsni, 56, said some people are cutting back on their purchases already and though “we’re doing fine here … I’ve heard plenty of customers say they’re worried about what all this crisis talk really means. I think it will hit us eventually.”

For Jost Ivancic, a 22-year-old student in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the situation makes it “even more improbable I could get a bank loan to buy a house or a car. I have no money to speak of right now.”

In Iceland, where Adam Stempinski, 38, found construction work after leaving his native Poland, “It’s getting more difficult to make ends meet. But I believe the country will pull through. I’m staying here, I’m still better off here than in Poland.”

Taxi driver Joe Green in Washington, D.C., said he was finding fewer customers, fewer tips and a 40 percent cut in earnings after 20 years driving the streets.

“I am struggling to pay everything. The other day I wanted to go buy shoes but first I had to get gas and $20 doesn’t go very far any more … If I was to get sick or my car was to break down I would be dead broke. I used to take my wife out and go to Atlantic City. I can’t do that no more,” he said.

Emily Chamberlin, 39, an events manager at a Smithsonian museum in Washington, said her real estate agent husband has not sold a house in three or four months, so the couple has cut down on entertainment and have put travel plans for next summer

on hold.

“But here I am holding a $4 Starbucks coffee. I love my Starbucks,” she said.

Deborah Taylor, 37, a stay-at-home mother in Cincinnati, said she and her husband are considering switching their retirement investments “maybe to commodities … I don’t know much about investing and he doesn’t either.”

In the U.S. heartland, where 39-year-old Jackie McMahon and her husband run three candy stores in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, sales are off, and costs are up.

“It’s just getting by day to day. It’s a feeling of total insecurity,” she said.

Thursday is D-Day

Thursday is D-Day

Forget the stock market gyrations. Forget Bernanke and Paulson’s ineffective, unconstitutional schemes.

Thursday’s auction for Lehman’s credit default swaps (CDS) is much more important.

Why?

Well, if banks are reassured by the CDS auction, it could do more to free up frozen capital than all of the Fed and Treasury’s ill-conceived plans put together.

As Bill Gross, head of $721 billion dollar fund Pimco, says:

Credit markets are based on trust and when there is no trust, markets can freeze up . . . . Imagine yourself at the drive-thru ordering a Big Mac. At one window you order and pay, at the other – 20 feet ahead – you pick up your lunch. What if you thought that after paying at the first window, your 1000 calorie sandwich might not be waiting for you a few seconds later. You might not pay; business as usual might not take place. That is what is happening in the credit markets. They are frozen in “McFear.” After the failure of Lehman Brothers – an investment bank which took orders at one window, and promised to pay at another for trillions of dollars of those CDS, swaps, and other derivative “sandwiches” – institutional investors said that they’d prefer to stay at home and have peanut butter instead of risking their money ordering a Big Mac. And so their money goes into that figurative mattress instead of the register at McDonald’s, people are laid off, profits go down, bank loans become less available, our economic center cannot hold.

An auction occurred today to determine the value of Freddie and Fannie’s CDS. While there were approximately $500 billion in CDS written against Freddie and Fannie, those who issued CDS will be repaid between 91.5 percent and 99.9 percent of protection they sold. In other words, the issuers of such CDS will only have to pay out between .1 and 8.5 cents on the dollar.

For a rough, back-of-the-envelope calculation, let’s split it down the middle and call it 95% of $500 billion, which means that the issuers of Freddie and Fannie CDS will only have to pay out about 5 cents on the dollars, or about $25 billion total. That’s a lot of money, but not catastrophic.

On the other hand, “investors who wrote protection on a Lehman default will have to pay out between 81 and 85 cents on the dollar.”

No one has disclosed how many billions of dollars in Lehman CDSs are out there. And no one knows the exact payout amount which will be determined at Thursday’s auction.

But it is known that “Lehman was one of the 10 largest parties participating in credit default swaps, the New York Times reports. The company’s most recent quarterly filing said it bought and sold $729 billion in derivatives with a fair net value of $16.6 billion.” And a lot of people bought CDS betting on Lehman’s failure in September.

D-Day

So Thursday is D-Day, where “D” is for “derivatives”.

If there are a lot of Lehman CDS out there, and if the auction price comes in high, it could greatly exacerbate the global economic crisis no matter what Bernanke and Paulson do. On the other hand, if there aren’t that many CDS out there, or if the price comes in lower than people expect, it would be a huge sign of stability in the CDS market that could reassure financial institutions and investors worldwide, which could “free up liquidity” and help avert a depression (no matter what Bernanke and Paulson do).

Washington Mutual’s CDS auction is October 23rd, and we might not have a final answer on how big the CDS crisis is until then.

CFR Bankers Plan for Financial Crash

CFR Bankers Plan for Financial Crash

While concentrating on the theme of financial meltdown of the “globalized” economy, there quickly emerged at the conference a dominant second theme for dealing with the crisis: the enunciated policy that many tens of millions of people in the Third World should be caused to die, by denying them any treatment for AIDS. Game-theorist Peter Schwartz, one of the more important figures at the conference, stated point-blank, “Those who have AIDS in Africa should die as quickly as possible. They should not be kept alive.” Schwartz’s anti-human game-theory played a major role in this CFR conference, and as it does in the Financial Vulnerabilities Project. Schwartz made no attempt to conceal his policy of genocide. As the financial crisis deepens, this is exactly the policy that the CFR is bringing to the fore. – Richard Freeman


This article appeared in the July 28, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Exposed!

by Richard Freeman

On July 12-13, 2000, while public media were assuring the credulous public of a “soft landing” for the U.S. economy, the New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) held a conference at its exclusive mansion-headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan, entitled “The Next Financial Crisis: Warning Signs, Damage Control and Impact.” For two days, several speakers told a high-powered audience of 250 people, comprised largely of bankers, investors, corporation officials, and policymakers, mostly from the United States, but also from Europe, of the possibility that the U.S. stock market, and potentially the world financial system, would melt down.

The conference occurred under the auspices of the CFR’s “Financial Vulnerabilities Project,” which the CFR established in 1999 to systematically look at such crises. Wall Street investment banker Roger Kubarych is the director of the project.

It is with a high degree of perverse irony, that these very policymakers who have put out, month after month, the monotonous story praising the soundness of the world financial system, and the abundant growth of the U.S. economy, are debating among themselves the possibility and deeper implications of the financial system shattering.

The conference featured discussion of the startling outcomes of a major event that the CFR Project had undertaken on Jan. 22: an eight-hour, war-game simulation of the simultaneous breakdown of major financial markets around the world. The simulation covered a period that would have unfolded over July 2-17, 2000.

What had been simulated, was a policy of pumping huge amounts of liquidity by the Federal Reserve, both through public sources and also through secret channels, to “keep the main markets open.” The simulation was conducted such that “all the public would see, is that the Fed volume of loans to banks had gone up.” Further, and darkly revealing, the CFR, according to its own testimony, the simulation began with a coup against the President of the United States.

While concentrating on the theme of financial meltdown of the “globalized” economy, there quickly emerged at the conference a dominant second theme for dealing with the crisis: the enunciated policy that many tens of millions of people in the Third World should be caused to die, by denying them any treatment for AIDS. Game-theorist Peter Schwartz, one of the more important figures at the conference, stated point-blank, “Those who have AIDS in Africa should die as quickly as possible. They should not be kept alive.” Schwartz’s anti-human game-theory played a major role in this CFR conference, and as it does in the Financial Vulnerabilities Project. Schwartz made no attempt to conceal his policy of genocide. As the financial crisis deepens, this is exactly the policy that the CFR is bringing to the fore.

The conference also presented an insight into the CFR itself as an institution, and its decision-making and policy-formulating processes. The CFR dictates significant elements of policy in America, including for the Democratic and Republican parties and official Washington. The British and American financier oligarchy created it in 1921 expressly for that purpose. But at the conference, while accurately identifying some aspects of the financial crisis, the CFR could offer no competent solution. Further, during the conference, the CFR increasingly subjected its members to the systems-analysis influence of game-theory and artificial intelligence. It was evident that the thinking, and policy-decision functions of the CFR have sharply deteriorated, relative to what it was 20 years ago–and they are supposed to be the top policymakers in the United States.

The treatment of the issue of AIDS in Africa was a singular “marker.” It revealed a policy outlook of the London-Wall Street “leadership” in the last stages of a systemic breakdown. The argument in favor of a new Black Death, given to this correspondent by Schwartz, are presented in the accompanying box.

The Meltdown Simulation

The July 12-13 conference was the third of a series of events originating in the CFR’s Financial Vulnerabilities Project. Public and side discussions made clear that the events stemming from the misnamed “Asian financial crisis” of 1997-98, the Sept. 17, 1998 declaration by the Russian government of a moratorium on payment on its GKO Treasury debt, to the Sept. 23, 1998 blowout of the Long Term Capital Management hedge fund, which carried more than $1.25 trillion in derivatives bets, and subsequent events, terrified people in CFR circles. Fearing another major crisis, they quickly put together the Financial Vulnerabilities Project.

On Jan. 22, 2000, the CFR Project held its second big event: a scenario of a global financial meltdown, run as a war-game simulation at its Manhattan headquarters.
For the simulation, the CFR conscripted 75 people, including bankers, former Treasury Secretaries, and former State Department officials. Participants were divided into four teams, sent into four rooms, with the ability to communicate with each other and with a command headquarters through the computers. The four teams covered 1) monetary-financial, which dealt with the functions of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; 2) economic and trade, which dealt with the functions of the U.S. Treasury Department; 3) regulatory matters; and 4) national security–nut case and former CIA director James Woolsey played the role of Secretary of Defense.

The game-players were hit with breakdowns in several markets, which increased in severity, and in some ways interacted, during the simulation. The market assumptions included: the Dow Jones Average Industrial Average falling by stages, from 10,000 to 7,100; the price of oil shooting up to $36 per barrel; the dollar plummeting against both the euro and the yen; the affiliate of a large British insurance company that was a big player in the equity derivatives market getting into trouble, causing panic in the derivatives market; Ukraine defaulting on payments to Russian oil companies, which increased the possibility of a Russia-Ukraine confrontation; and so on.

The simulation confirms that, despite media prattling, the highest levels of the financier oligarchy are making preparations for something that may be quite different than unlimited prosperity.

The CFR has not yet written up the outcome of the simulation, but one conference panel was a “report-back” by participants in the simulation meltdown. Three underlying assumptions of great significance, other than those which are strictly market-based, were divulged:

A Coup against the President

First, James Jones–a former U.S. Representative from Oklahoma, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (1993-97), and now a lawyer at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (the firm of former Democratic National Committee chairman Chuck Manatt)–played the role of National Security Adviser during the simulation. On July 12, Jones reported: “We assumed that the President of the United States was incapacitated. We assumed that either Clinton was depressed because he was denied his favorite part-time occupation–and I don’t mean golf–or because Ronald Reagan was yearning for his old Hollywood movies. But we assumed the President was incapacitated. We had to decide whether to take powers from the President.” That is, the CFR simulation started with a coup d’état against the U.S. President.

Second, a major objective of the exercise was to bail out the financial markets. According to an article in the March 10 issue of Euromoney magazine, written by an eyewitness reporter during the simulation, two of the largest mutual funds in America went to the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that they were experiencing redemption rates that could threaten their firms. The article reported, “They need an injection of cash to meet the payments without having to dump their portfolio on the market at fire-sale rates. . . . The regulators [a simulation team] approached blue-chip J.P. Morgan and discussed the Fed secretly guaranteeing a huge line of credit to the two funds. Morgan would take excess collateral, but it wouldn’t be taking the credit risk of the mutual fund companies themselves. That would be borne by the Fed. Fed Chairman [Alan] Greenspan is uncomfortable, but agrees to the deal. `All the public will see,’ says one regulator reassuringly, `is that the Fed’s volume of loans to banks has gone up.’ “
Such secret operations are exactly what Lyndon LaRouche and EIR have said that the Fed is doing now. Furthermore, former World Bank Managing Director and Treasurer Jessica Einhorn, who played vice-chairman of the Fed during the simulation, reported at the conference that, in the simulation, “We kept the main markets open, and let other things go. We lowered rates and put in liquidity. The main thing was to create the perception of confidence.”

Third, the simulation used Schwartz’s book The Art of the Long View, particularly its last chapter, which is a formulation of game-theory and war-games in the context of the New Age and New Economy. This is particularly important, as game-theory was being applied specifically against the institution of the CFR itself.

Before we look at how game-theory, as an instrument to destroy the mind’s cognitive capacities, and induce a controllable behavior, was developed in corporate and institutional settings by Schwartz, we look at the first session of the conference, to locate the wider view of the financial-economic discussion.

Setting a Breakdown into Motion

The first session of the July 12-13 conference situated elements that could help set a financial breakdown into motion. It featured Henry Kaufman, president since 1988 of Henry Kaufman & Co., and before that with Salomon Brothers investment bank, who has warned constantly about high U.S. debt levels. (Kubarych, the director of the “Financial Vulnerabilities Project,” has been Kaufman’s business partner for a dozen years, and it is likely that, through Kubarych, Kaufman had a lot to do with the CFR conference.) Kaufman stated, “Contagion can spread quickly through the financial system. Today we have far greater repercussions which happen quickly, as we saw in [crises] in 1987, ’94, and ’98.” He added that the financial markets have completely changed, and “a bank is no longer a bank, a securities firm is no longer a securities firm.” Hannes Androsch, Austria’s former Finance Minister (1970-81), and Vice Chancellor in 1976 under Bruno Kreisky, was on the same panel. While Androsch defended liberalization of the financial and labor markets in Europe, he did say that international money markets need to be “tightly regulated.” Instead of recognizing the need for such regulation, Kaufman lashed out at Androsch, saying that one cannot have advancement “under socialized markets. We will have to let markets prosper, and those who don’t make it will fail.”
Kaufman’s foolishness notwithstanding, he at least admitted that existing financial conditions are dangerous.

In a session on July 13, Robert Shiller, economist at Yale University and author of Irrational Exuberance, said that there is a high-tech stock bubble, “and when it bursts, it will bring down the rest of the market.” He said, “The tripling of the value of the capitalization of the [U.S.] stock market over the last five years is out of whack. There is no connection to productivity or anything. Nothing else has tripled.”

Shiller warned that the market is unsustainable, and he later told EIR, “I believe that the market will come down sharply. The stock market crashed on Oct. 28-29, 1929. But that was not a one-day affair. The collapse extended into 1933. There was great tumultuousness. The same thing will happen today. This will not be a one-day event. It will fall on one day, but the fall will continue to extend over years. It will cause a decline in the economy.” Shiller told the conference, “I know some foundations and endowments [managers] are in the audience. I hope your investment is in bonds.”

Other conference speakers warned of a potential financial crisis, indicating a broader awareness of the crisis that has not been allowed to seep out to the public.

Game-Theory

But, instead of a fundamental solution to the crisis, participants were given a heavy dose of cognition-destroying game-theory and war-games. In this, Schwartz played a critical role.

Schwartz co-directed two workshops at the conference, on “scenario building and simulations.” At one session, he described how he spread game-theory into Royal Dutch Shell, a firm that is a major part of British intelligence, and how it could be used today.
Schwartz utilized his experience at the Research Institute (where Age of Aquarius guru Willis Harman rules the roost) to become, in 1982, head of Royal Dutch Shell’s intelligence-linked Scenario Planning Department, with a staff of 35 people. There, Schwartz introduced the company’s seven-member Committee of Managing Directors to the idea that the price of oil might fall. He stated, “The idea was to present them with one outlook that would give them psychological comfort, so that they would feel comfortable considering other alternatives. This is something you should do in scenario planning. Include something that they will agree with. So, we presented the idea that the price of oil would go to $80 per barrel–which these individuals would like–and the idea that it would be $35 per barrel, and that it would be $15 per barrel.” Then, said Schwartz, “we gave them a model, in which they could change the variables. Once a variable was changed, a result would be posted [to be visible]. At first they were reluctant to play with the model, but they did for an hour and a quarter. Then we scheduled another meeting for one hour, and it ran four hours. These managing directors are not the type to take an afternoon doing something like this, but they got into it.” Schwartz asserted, “The key thing is not the specific outcome of the scenario. The key thing is that you change the functioning and behavior of the decision-makers.”

Fundamentally, game-theory is but a variation of the systems analysis of John von Neumann and the statistical “information theory” of Norbert Wiener. By intent, game-theory destroys the creative power of human cognition. It is by definition, a linearized system of thought, in which the game “model” is a built upon a set of deductive axiomatic assumptions which pre-determine the outcome of the game. But, the human mind is not linearized. Uniquely, human creative reason generates an ordered series of discoveries of fundamental scientific principle. These necessarily lie outside the linearized model. Thus, game-theory outlaws this creative power of cognition. Schwartz’s comment, that “the key thing is that you change the functioning and behavior of the decision-makers,” exposes the fact that this is behavior modification.

At the CFR conference, Schwartz pointed out that the government of Singapore has a scenario-planning department, and that governments that have experimented with scenario planning include “Singapore, Britain, and Germany. But not France; the French do things differently.”

Joining Schwartz on the panel was four-star Adm. William Flanagan (ret.), who was commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet during 1994-96, and who has carried out information-theory modelling of war games, in the military and, now, in the private sector. Flanagan explained how, in the 1990s, information-theory-modelling war-gaming was brought into the U.S. military, gloating, “We turned the military around.”
But this game theory/information theory/systems analysis has application far beyond the precincts of the CFR. It has been used to destroy America’s schools, corporations, workplaces, and government, and as a shock to speed the shift of America from a productive economy into a speculation-based, Information Age wasteland.
`Perception Was Important’

It became clear at the conference that game-theory had had a destructive effect. This was illustrated by the report-back session on the Jan. 22 simulation, where various audience members who had participated in the simulation shared their experiences. Many stressed how “perception was important,” and the “collegiality of the team,” and “how the process of how we reached the decision was so important.” These were policymakers, holding top posts, and their utterings were completely pathetic.
This clinically shows how far the policymaking and thinking processes coming from Washington and Wall Street have collapsed, and how fast nations must flee from this, if they are to survive.

This was further confirmed by the last session of the conference, at which the featured speaker was Ray Kurzweil, one of the principal proponents of “virtual reality” and author of The Age of Spiritual Machines, When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, head of the giant American International Group (AIG) insurance firm and vice chairman of the CFR, introduced Kurzweil as “the Thomas Edison of the computer age.”

Kurzweil said that he would explain “why we will be spending most of our lives in virtual reality.” He said that, within ten years, individuals will be able to have systems built into their eyeglasses that will give them virtual reality, and that it will soon be difficult to distinguish between virtual reality and reality. In this setting, “scientists” will “beam out sensory experiences” of one person to another person. In an attack on human cognition, he averred, “By about 2030, non-biological intelligence will be comparable to human intelligence. There will be no clear distinction between the two.”

Kurzweil showed one lunatic time-line, depicting the development starting with the one-cell organism, extending through homo sapiens, through the launching of agriculture, the development of the heat-powered machine, and so on, and culminating with . . . the Internet. The CFR audience fawned all over him, asking such questions as, “Based on these technologies, where will the Dow Jones go?” “How can I invest?” and so on.
What Preparation for the Crash?

At the end of the conference, EIR asked Kubarych what steps the CFR now envisages should be taken in light of the simulation and conference. Kubarych said that a large majority of the 75 people who had participated in the project’s simulation, had said that they “favored the status quo, and favored not recommending any changes.” He said that a few “heavy-free-market types” among the 75 simulators favored letting those who fail in the next financial turbulence, to “take their lumps,” while a few others favored some regulatory changes. When asked, “Well, what did the simulation teach you?” Kubarych said: “It taught us how to explore the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the financial system, so that we would know them better and where they are.” This is patently false. He added, “It taught us how we can crisis-manage it better.” Thus, as the bankrupt system collapses, the CFR will not give it up, but will attempt to crisis-manage it.
The potential for financial breakdown was often accurately presented at the conference, but no solution was even remotely discussed. Schwartz’s call to hasten the death of tens of millions of Africans, in the face of a financial crisis which the CFR knows to be intensifying, is the logical outcome of its thinking, and a frightening warning about the future.

Dehumanising Metaphors in ‘War on Terror’


Dehumanising Metaphors in ‘War on Terror’

Iqbal Jassat

83war_is_terror.jpg

October 7, 2008

In the light of fresh debates centered on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly within the United States whose armed forces are deeply entrenched in the military conquest of the region under the guise of the ‘war on terror’, many fraudulent theories are advanced to justify hostilities against largely unarmed and defenseless populations.

The same can be said about the Horn of Africa and the US-sponsored war of aggression against Somalia.

One of the concepts used to perpetrate these military adventures is that of ‘failed states’. The argument used is that the all-knowing West has to ‘remake the world’ in order to pave the way for democracy to flourish.

Millions of people have been displaced as a consequence of these military adventures while the American presidential candidates bicker over their potential moves in this game of chess, which is what the terrible results of the Bush administration’s war games have seemingly reduced these tragedies to.

This cesspool of greed by captains of multinational corporations alongside the insatiable hunger of the West’s military industrial complex is ignored or at best glossed over by their media institutions. This explains the phenomena of ‘embedded journalism’, increasingly contributing to securing public approval for illegitimate conduct by America and many of its allies.

Metaphorically speaking then, ‘failed states’ invite invasions and occupations. And those resisting such aggression in defense of their precious lives and properties can be eliminated through bombing campaigns – after all, the prevalent wisdom propagated by their spin doctors who have sprung up all over the world as ‘terror experts’, is that resistance is terrorism.

The war of metaphors has become an indispensable tool in the armoury of perpetrators, for it allows perverted language to conceal the human faces of victims.

Only the equally repugnant process of curtailing civil liberties matches the process of dehumanisation. Hand-in-hand these methodical operations have resulted in a breed of lexicons, which are used to hide gross human rights violations:

· Renditions;

· Guantanamo;

· Secret evidence;

· Targeted killings;

· Collateral damage;

· Precision bombings;

· Remaking the world.

As the Bush term nears its end, it remains clear that the ‘war on terror’ – though discredited and acknowledged as illegitimate – will be pursued under the watch of either Obama or McCain. Neither of them has given any clue that they are aware of the nightmare of Bush’s legacy from which people are struggling to awake.

Indeed the latest account of the devastation caused in Somalia by Ethiopian forces under American orders reveals the extent of mindless destruction characterizing the dehumanization of the so-called ‘war on terror’. A report by Human Rights Watch records the terrible ordeal suffered by Somalis as a direct result of misguided policies emanating from the Pentagon.

No matter how the architects of this ill-conceived warfare package their propaganda, it is clear that in the court of public opinion their efforts to strip the human dimension will not succeed.

GREED-“It’s a Life-Sucking Bitch, From Which Their Is No Escape”

Amazing!

Anonymous

Kenny’s Sideshow

Amazing! -The first ever global depression will go down in history horribly misunderstood. What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools we have become. Consumer junkie credit card morons. Perfect little victims. Say, that reminds me.

Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold ALMOST 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, offshore accounts, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST ONE PERCENT HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT.

Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives.

ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy. Their wealth has been gradually transferred to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars which have been transferred FROM US TO THEM. All over a period of about 27 years. That’s Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They just keep getting richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year.

IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any ‘humanitarian’ progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. So don’t fall for any of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM.

Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggravated because of GREED.

If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE OBSCENE, UNREASONABLE, AND UNJUST DISTRIBUTION OF UNITED STATES WEALTH, THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN A COLLAPSE IN THE HOUSING MARKET. Sub-prime did not cause the problem. It only accelerated the outcome. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. In fact, they specifically endorsed Countrywide by name. The same Countrywide widely responsible for predatory adjustable rate sub-prime lending and the accelerated collapse of the housing market. ENDORSED BY OPRAH WINFREY, ELLEN DEGENERES, AND DR PHIL. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. It also drives up the cost for nearly every product and service on the market. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. No offense fellow citizens. But we have been mislead by nearly every public figure. We still are. Even now, they claim to be ‘hurting’ right along with the rest of us. As if gas prices actually effect the lifestyle of a millionaire.

ITS A LIE. IN 2007, THE RICHEST 1% INCREASED THEIR AVERAGE BOTTOM LINE WEALTH AGAIN. On average, they are now worth over $4,000,000 each. That’s an all time high. As a group, they are now worth well over $17,000,000,000,000. THAT’S WELL OVER SEVENTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS. Another all time high. Which by the way, is much more than the entire middle and lower classes combined. Also more than enough to pay off our national debt, fund the Iraq war for a decade, repair our infrastructure, and bail out the US housing market.

Still think that our biggest problem is China? Think again. Its the 1% club. That means every big name celebrity, athlete, executive, entrepreneur, developer, banker, and lottery winner. Along with many attorneys, doctors, and politicians. If they are rich, then they are part of the problem. Their incredible wealth was not ‘created’, ‘generated’, grown in their back yard, or printed up on their command. It was transferred FROM US TO THEM. Directly and indirectly. Its become near impossible to spend a dollar without making some greedy pig even richer. Don’t be fooled by the occasional loss of a millionaire’s fortune. Overall, they just keep getting richer. They absolutely will not stop. Still, they have the nerve to pretend as if they care about ordinary people. ITS A LIE. NOTHING BUT CALCULATED PR CRAP. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME.

The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. High energy prices. Their idea. Oil ‘futures’. Their idea. Obscene health care charges. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit. Their idea. The multi-million dollar endorsement deal. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea. Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. Excessive medical testing. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, medical testing, love-sick, celebrity junkie. Their idea.

All of the above drive up the cost of living, shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, create a domino effect of socio-economic problems, and wreak havoc on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP. In many cases, the ‘charitable’ contribution is almost entirely offset. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and ‘good will’ all at once. Which is usually done just before or after the release of their latest commercial project. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to ‘federal tax revenue’. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH.

If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax revenue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havoc on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a domino effect to consider. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. But our leaders refuse to acknowledge this. Instead they come up with one trick after another to milk the system and screw the majority. These decisions are heavily influenced by the 1% club.

Every year, billions of federal tax dollars are diverted behind the scenes back to the rich and their respective industries. Loans from China have been necessary to compensate in part, for the red ink and multi-trillion dollar transfer of wealth to the rich. At the same time, the feds have been pushing more financial burden onto the states who push them lower onto the cities. Again, the hardship is felt more by the majority and less by the 1% club. The rich prefer to live in exclusive areas or upper class communities. They get the best of everything. Reliable city services, new schools, freshly paved roads, upscale parks, etc. The middle and lower class communities get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Which, they usually can’t afford. So the red ink flows followed by service cuts and lay-offs. All because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. Anyway, when you account for all federal, state, and local taxes, the middle class actually pay about the same rate as the rich. The devil is in the details. So when people forgive the rich for their incredible greed and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. After all, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, bankers, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, doctors, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Strong middle class, free and clear assets, lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, lower deficit, etc. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA.

Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home foreclosure epidemic, credit crunch, weak US dollar, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. The cost of living is higher than ever before. Most people can’t even afford basic health care. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED.

I really don’t blame the 2nd -5th percentiles in general. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can’t be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK. TOP HEAVY ECONOMIES ALWAYS COLLAPSE. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The American dream will be shattered. and that’s just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die.

Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH MAKES WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, they will jump to small minded conclusions about ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, or ’socialism’. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

So what can we do about it?

Well, not much. Unfortunately, we are stuck on a runaway train. The problem has gone unchecked for too many years. The US/global depression is coming thanks to the 1% club. It would take a massive effort by the vast majority to prevent it. Along with a voluntary sacrifice by the rich. THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

But if you believe in miracles, then spend your money as wisely as possible. Especially in middle and lower class communities. Check the Fortune 500 list and limit your support of high profit/low labor industries (Hollywood, pro sports, energy, credit, pharmaceutical, cable, satellite, internet advertising, cell phone, high fashion, jewelry, etc.). Cancel all but one credit card for emergencies only. If you need a cell phone, then do your homework and find the best deal on a local pre-pay. If you want home internet access, then use the least expensive provider, and share accounts whenever possible. If you need to search, then use the less popular search engines. They usually produce the same results anyway. Don’t click on any internet ad. If you need the product or service, then look up the phone number or address and contact that business directly. Don’t pay to see any blockbuster movie. Instead, wait a few months and rent the DVD from a local store or buy it USED. If you want to see a big name game or event, then watch it in a local bar, club, or at home on network TV. Don’t buy any high end official merchandise and don’t support the high end sponsors. If its endorsed by a big name celebrity, then don’t buy it. If you can afford a new car, then make an exception for GM, Ford, and Dodge. If they don’t increase their market share soon, then a lot more people are going to get screwed out of their pensions and/or benefits. Of course, you must know by now to avoid those big trucks and SUVs unless you truly need one for its intended purpose. Don’t be ashamed to buy a foreign car if you prefer it. After all, those with the most fuel efficient vehicles consume a lot less foreign oil. Which accounts for a pretty big chunk of our trade deficit. Anyway, the global economy is worth supporting to some extent. Its the obscene profit margins, trade deficits, and BS from OPEC that get us into trouble. Otherwise, the global economy would be a good thing for everyone. Just keep in mind that the big 3 are struggling and they do produce a few smaller reliable cars. Don’t frequent any high end department store or any business in a newly developed upper class community. By doing so, you make developers richer and draw support away from industrial areas and away from the middle class communities. Instead, support the local retailer and the less popular shopping centers. Especially in lower or middle class communities. If you can afford to buy a home, then do so. But go smaller and less expensive. Don’t get yourself in too deep and don’t buy into the newly developed condos or gated communities. Instead, find a modest home in a building or neighborhood at least 20 years old. If you live in one of the poorer states, then try to support its economy first and foremost. Be on the lookout for commercial brainwash plots on TV. They are written into nearly every scene of nearly every show. Most cater to network sponsors and parent companies. Especially commercial health care. Big business is fine on occasion depending on the profit margins and profit sharing. Do your homework. If you want to support any legitimate charity, then do so directly. Never support any celebrity foundation. They spend most of their funding on PR campaigns, travel, and high end accommodations for themselves. Instead, go to Charitywatch.org and look up a top rated charity to support your favorite cause. In general, support the little guy as much as possible and the big guy as little as possible. Do your part to reverse the transfer of wealth away from the rich and back to the middle and lower classes.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer. Jobs will be lost either way. Innocent children will starve and die either way. But we need to support the largest group of workers with the most reasonable profit margins. We also need to support LEGITIMATE charities (Check that list at Charitywatch.org). This is our only chance to limit the severity and/or duration of the coming US/global depression. In the meantime, don’t listen to Bernanke, Paulson, Bartiromo, Orman, Dobbs, Kramer, OReilly, or any other public figure with regard to the economy. They are all plenty smart but I swear to you that they will lie right through their rotten teeth. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These people work for big business. The ‘experts’ they cite also work for big business. They are all motivated by their desire to accumulate more wealth. THEY WILL LIE RIGHT THROUGH THEIR ROTTEN TEETH. So don’t fall for their tricks. Instead, look at the big picture. The economic problems we face have been mounting for well over 20 years. All of them caused or aggravated by a constant transfer of wealth from poorer to richer. Soon, it will cause the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESSION. Its not brain surgery. Its simple math.

Like I said, you are welcome to run this by any professor of economics or soceo-economics. If thats not good enough, then look up what Einstein had to say about greed, extreme wealth, and its horrible consequences. I speak the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Its already underway. A massive campaign to divert our attention. Trump, Buffet, O’Reilly, Dobbs, Pickens, Norris, and several other well known filthy rich public figures have been running their mouths about the economy. Finally admitting a hint of severity after almost 2 years of denial. They even have the nerve to acknowledge the possibility of a US/global depression. Still, they refuse to acknowledge the single greatest underlying cause. Instead, they focus on policies, procedures, and circumstances that were born FROM the underlying cause. Dancing their way around the big picture. DON’T FALL FOR IT.

Remember: Our national debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. Consumer debt was way up BEFORE sub-prime. The cost of living was up BEFORE sub-prime. Wall Street profits were obscene BEFORE sub-prime. The middle class were loosing free and clear assets BEFORE sub-prime. Our infrastructure was in bad shape BEFORE sub-prime. Loans from China were taken out BEFORE sub-prime. The dollar was loosing value BEFORE sub-prime. So don’t let these cowardly filthy rich public figures divert your attention or limit your range of thought.

THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CRISIS WAS NOT CAUSED BY A SINGLE POLICY OR PROCEDURE. IT WAS CAUSED PRIMARILY BY A MASSIVE TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM POOR TO RICH. THIS ALSO REPRESENTS A MASSIVE CONCENTRATION OF CAPITAL WORLDWIDE. OTHERWISE, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUCH A MARKET FOR SUB-PRIME AND THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A GLOBAL CREDIT CRUNCH. MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES AND IT DOES NOT JUST FLOAT AWAY. IT ONLY TRANSFERS FROM ONE PARTY TO ANOTHER. ALBERT EINSTEIN TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

A word for those who respond with the usual ‘I know more than you. Look how smart, knowledgeable, and articulate I am’ crap. Let me say this in advance. I don’t claim to be an expert in this field. But I did go on record with these predictions long before any public figure uttered the word ‘recession’. If you search long enough, you will find my early postings from ‘05′ and ‘06′. Including the first draft of this rant. Since then, I’ve gone on record against people like Greenspan, Bernanke, and Paulson. So far, my predictions have been accurate. Like I said. This is not brain surgery. For the most part, its simple math. When you concentrate the world’s wealth, you also concentrate its capital and shrink the middle class along with the potential market for every major industry. Homes go unsold. Bills go unpaid. Banks fail. More products go unsold. Jobs are lost. More banks fail. and so on. and so on. It happened 80 years ago. It will happen again. This time on a global scale. Throughout the cycle, the rich will tighten their grip. Concentrating the world’s wealth and resources even further and ensuring the collapse of every major economy worldwide. Think it can’t happen? Think again. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

Another thing. I don’t want credit for any of this. Otherwise, I would have given my full name a long time ago. As far as I’m concerned, you can put this rant in your own words and take credit for all of it. I don’t care. Just spread the word. Otherwise, the greatest injustice of all time will go down in history unchecked.

By the way. The bailout won’t work. IT WON’T WORK. The plan fails to address the fundamental problem. The middle class don’t need more credit. They need a reasonable share of the economic pie. They also need a lower cost of living and a chance to catch their breath. They need a break from all of the psychological marketing tricks and mass market BS. Most of all, they need to wake up and see the truth. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

To my surprise, two public figures have found the courage to acknowledge this problem to some degree.

On 11.07.07 former presidential candidate Ron Paul mentioned the massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He also hinted at the possibility of economic collapse. He did so on ‘Face the Nation’. He was blacklisted almost immediately for doing so.

On 9.28.08 former secretary of labor Robert Reich referred to the obscene levels of income inequality as part of a “recipe for disaster”. He mentioned the richest one percent in particular. He did so on ‘Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

As far as I know, Albert Einstein was the first to explain the link between extreme wealth and economic instability. He did so in 1949. He explained how the first Great Depression was actually caused by a massive transfer of wealth from poor to rich. He predicted that it would happen again. We are about to witness the first ever GLOBAL DEPRESSION. Amazing. The prosperity of an entire world is about to be compromised. Almost entirely because of greed. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL.

The point about our government printing up more money was that it can’t be done “on a whim” and that there are serious consequences for doing so (weak dollar, higher gas prices, inflation). I never said that it can’t be or hasn’t been done at all. After all, those loans from China weren’t infused in the form of Chinese currency. They were infused in the form of our own. Not given to the middle class but instead to the banks in the form of credit. Its done nothing but perpetuate the problem. It never has been and never will be the answer.

Sorry if I wasn’t explicit enough the first time. The original draft was written 2 years ago and intended to fit within 300 characters. Anyway, I’m no English major. So if any of you want to re-word this post, feel free to do so. Whatever it takes to make people understand.

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© 2008 Kenny’s Sideshow

Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, ­Human Renaissance

Evolution of the Apocalypse: Empire’s Demise, ­

Human Renaissance

by Carole Brouillet

Apocalypse (Greek: Apokálypsis; “lifting of the veil”) is a term applied to the disclosure to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the majority of humankind. Today the term is often used to refer to the end of the world, which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton, which literally means “revelation at the end of the æon, or age.[1]“

The unraveling of the US and global financial system should not be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention, doubted the news headlines over the past decade, or plunged into an odyssey of self- and world-discovery by reading books, studying history, or seeking the truth behind the cultural myths that cocoon Americans into the notion that they live in the world’s beacon of democracy and freedom.  The most surprising factor is that people who have created the crisis think that they can continue the scam by stealing another $850,000,000,000 overtly through the bailout, and even larger amounts covertly, to keep the game going for the world’s wealthiest people at the expense of everyone else.

In the past, Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and Rome fell when a small percentage of the population controlled nearly all of the wealth. [2] Today, the rich have never been richer nor the poor poorer. The concentration of wealth has been achieved by conquest, as well as by one of the most powerful tools of empire­money.

Debt-based monetary systems are the building blocks of empires, and generally empires collapse or topple when they have destroyed their ecological base.  The current global empire severely threatens the forests, the oceans, the climate, the fertility of the soil, the aquifers, the bees, and innumerable other species, including humanity.

There is a Cree prophecy that goes as follows[3]:

“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”

Caught up in the empire game, many have forgotten the difference between money and real wealth. Money is a human invention. It is not neutral. Who creates it, how it flows in a society, a nation, and the world is important and subject to change.  Money is an agreement that can be backed either by force or by a spirit of cooperation.[4]

Bankers, like magicians, do not want to reveal their secrets. Able to create money out of thin air, they have learned that belief in the value of money is the key to their success. When people begin to doubt the purchasing power of money, banks fail and currencies collapse.

The “modern” fractional reserve banking system has evolved over centuries.[5] “Mortgage” literally means “death-gamble.” When mortgages were first introduced, those who risked their land to borrow money were literally risking the lives of their families, their liberty, and their hopes for the future.  Only gradually, over eons of time, did the idea of a “mortgage” become more commonplace, acceptable, and even encouraged. Mortgages became attached to the “dream of home ownership” and provided the liquid currency to fuel “national economies.”

The origins of paper money can be traced to receipts that goldsmiths provided to their customers, who would leave their gold with a goldsmith for safekeeping. Centuries ago goldsmiths began giving out receipts for the gold that they safeguarded, and people soon learned that the receipts were more useful for business transactions than heavy amounts of gold. Some enterprising goldsmith figured out that it was not necessary to maintain a supply of gold equal to all the receipts issued, because all the customers would never come to claim their gold at the same time. Because large amounts of gold weren’t necessary to ensure the utility of receipts, the goldsmith was able to issue many times as many receipts as he had gold in his vault, and the fractional reserve system was born. Since goldsmiths began to loan gold and receipts at interest, the system of “debt money” was born in which customers had to pay back more money (receipts) than were in circulation­thus ensuring that the community as a whole would always be in debt to the goldsmith.

When money is created by the banks and loaned to governments or business at interest, it is mathematically impossible to pay back all the money with interest. Not all debts can be repaid, so foreclosures occur. In this way wealth is continually transferred from the poor to the rich.

Kings, queens, and nations have succumbed to the power of those who lend them money, finance their wars, pay their armed forces­and own the means of communication, which either provide rulers their aura of legitimacy or can just as easily demonize and dethrone them.

Over a hundred years ago, the populist movement in the United States rose up in the wake of the collapse of agricultural prices that threatened farmers and enriched bankers.  The farmers pushed for monetary reform, including the demand that dollars be backed by silver rather than gold. The populists also argued that money should be created by the government for the benefit of the people, rather than by banks for the benefit of the bankers.

In 1890 the German economist Silvio Gesell formulated a theory of money that was as revolutionary as the notion that the earth circles the sun, rather than the other way around­despite appearances. Gesell suggested securing the money flow by making money a governmental service subject to a use fee. Instead of paying interest to those who have more money than they need, people would pay a small fee if they kept money out of circulation. The fee would serve as income to the government and would reduce the amount of taxes needed to carry out public tasks.

Gesell’s ideas were tested by the mayor of Worgl, Austria, in 1932 when economic conditions were deplorable. The mayor proposed to substitute a local currency for the national currency­which he called “work certificates.” On the first of every month the holder had to affix a 1 percent stamp of the face value of the certificate. The “taxes” went into the community chest, to provide a relief fund for the invalids or elderly who were unable to work. Because of the stamp tax, taxes were paid quickly, accounts were settled without the usual delays, and even the bank became eager to loan out money, as fast as it received it.

The mayor then embarked upon a public works program “to alleviate want, give work and bread,” which exceeded his highest hopes. The conditions of the streets of Worgl had been a standing joke to the people in the surrounding countryside. In less than four months, sewers and improvements were completed. Later, other streets were paved, and even streets outside of Worgl were repaired. Prosperity blossomed throughout Worgl.

Inspired by Worgl’s success, a meeting of 200 Austrian mayors decided unanimously to follow the Worgl example in their impoverished communities. At this point, fearful of losing its power, the private Austrian National Bank protested against the shattering of its money-making monopoly. After a legal fight, the Austrian Supreme Court sided with the bank, as might be expected. Although this experiment was abruptly terminated in Austria, the Worgl experience inspired three or four hundred scrips in circulation in the United States, Canada, and Mexico during the Great Depression.[6]

If the Federal Reserve were actually a part of the US government, would the US government need to borrow money? Wouldn’t it be able to just print its own? In 1913 the Federal Reserve Act took away Congress’s Constitutional power of regulating the value of money and bequeathed it to private banks.[7]  Since then the financial plight of the US government has been dire and under pressure from the very rich, who choose which candidates and politicians will serve their interests and oust those who threaten them.

In recent times there have been numerous communications revolutions, including radio, television, and the Internet, and social movements have also arisen.  At the same time there has also been the consolidation and expansion of corporate power served by new centers of supranational power, such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization. Alex Carey said:

“The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”[8]

During this time money and resources have flowed from poor countries to rich industrialized nations. The Structural Adjustment Programs forced upon nations by the World Bank and the IMF have meant shifting food production from domestic needs to export crops, devaluing  local currency to encourage exports, cutting social spending on health and education, reducing wages, privatizing national industries, selling off natural resources, and removing tariff protections for local industries. Hunger, unemployment, hardship and inequality are the direct and calculated results of these World Bank policies.

The vertical integration of entire industries has taken place with the rise of giant transnational corporations whose economies are larger than that of many countries.

At the end of World War II, when the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed, the dollar became the de facto “world currency” and was backed by American gold reserves. In 1972, in the midst of the Vietnam War, when President Nixon detached the dollar from the gold standard, he detached the dollar from anything of real tangible value and basically allowed the currency rates of every nation to fluctuate in relationship to one another’s currencies.  The dollar was then backed by oil and American military might.

In those days 98 percent of foreign exchange transactions had to do with the exchange of goods and services and only 2 percent were speculative. Today the vast majority of foreign exchange transactions have been speculative and less than 2 percent are for the exchange of real goods and services.

Measurements have inherent limitations and biases. The family existed before money did. Villages grew out of interdependent relationships between families. As societies have grown more complex, hierarchies have developed and the “public family” or the state has created institutions that have taken over many of the functions once met within the household, such as educating children and caring for the sick. [9]

In urban environments, basic living skills have been lost, people are more dependent than ever on the state or a monetized economy to meet their basic needs. In order to get slaves or labor to serve industries, people had to be forced away from the land where they once were able to sustain themselves.

In the film “Who’s Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics,” Marilyn unravels many of the problems in the global system. The IMF and the World Bank were created to maintain certain power relations and exercise control over the world’s resources. The U.N. System of National Accounts was based upon a pamphlet entitled “How to Pay for the War.” That system, imposed upon every country that joins the U.N., enables the global elite to finance their militaries, to engage in conflicts with other nations, and to build internal security forces to control populations who might not agree with the expropriation of their country’s resources.

The system assumes that the unpaid work of women­who are bearing children, raising them, feeding them, carrying for the sick and aged, and maintaining a home or garden­is of little or no importance. Nor does the system recognize the value of forests or the natural world unless they can be chopped down and sold or monetized in some way. Monetary transactions are measured, no matter how devastating their effects are on the environment. The arms industry is the most lucrative of all industries. It is in the economic interest of the major powers that there always be a war going on somewhere. This pathological system does not recognize the inherent value of life, peace, or the earth itself. It does not even notice anything of unquantifiable value; it only sees that which it measures­money.[10]

Maximizing profits is the primary value in modern economics. The economic measure of monetary flow is directly related to the rape of the earth, the amount of exploitation occurring within a country, and how effectively the world’s parasites are expropriating the labor of others and the natural world.

Because the greatest profit can be made through war and drugs, the global economy is a war economy. While the importance of oil for both energy and military purposes is enormous, dwarfing the oil industry in monetary terms is the illegal trafficking in drugs. Laundered drug money in enormous quantities has always found its way into the large financial centers and into key industries.

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. [1]

Fraud for profit is often perpetrated by industry professionals. There are generally multiple loan transactions with several financial institutions involved. These frauds include  misrepresentations including the following: Income is overstated, assets are overstated, collateral is overstated, the length of employment is overstated (or fictitious employment is reported), and employment is backstopped by conspirators. The property value is inflated (faulty appraisal) to increase the sales value to make up for their being no down payment and to generate cash proceeds in fraud for profit.[11]

In the 80s, Congress paved the way for the savings and loan scandal by loosening regulations, which cost taxpayers $160.1 billion. John McCain was one of the “Keating Five” rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, who was at the center of the scandal and convicted of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy.

The history of the stock market reveals a transition from investments in real companies producing tangible, measurable products and services toward “financial instruments” of an increasingly speculative nature.  Electronic money, borrowed and loaned into existence, flowing through cyberspace, can wreak havoc and collapse entire nations’ economies.  In the 90s the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) was devised to ensure the ability of speculators and multinational corporations to move capital in and out of countries without governmental involvement or public interest safeguards.[12] Recognizing the dangers of this agreement to the interests of people everywhere, civil society organized global resistance via the Internet to defeat the MAI.

The 90s also witnessed major consolidation of the mass media, the frenzy of speculation in the high-tech industry, and the development and expansion of Internet commerce.  New technologies permitted local, national, and international communications and organizing to occur, which profoundly challenged the credibility and legitimacy of established governments, corporations, and the corporate press.

Global resistance to corporate globalization broke through the mainstream media barrier in the US in 1999 in Seattle, Washington, when tens of thousands of protestors tried to peacefully shut down a World Trade Organization meeting. The first Indymedia.org website was created specifically for that protest to share information from the point of view of activists. Since then the Indymedia network has grown to span the globe­particularly in those cities where international protests have been organized, the main website is accessible in eight languages.

Under President Clinton in 1999 and the leadership of Senator Phil Gramm (now co-chair of the McCain campaign), Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act which removed Depression-era laws separating banking, insurance, and brokerage activities and helped pave the way for the next wave of financial integration and fraud. In late 2000 when Gramm chaired the Senate Banking Committee, he pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act­which prohibited federal agencies from regulating financial products called credit default swaps, which have been used to back up the mortgage-based securities. The credit default swaps are the major reason for the 54 trillion dollar liabilities that are threatening financial institutions worldwide.[13] (After the legislation passed, the Swiss bank UBS purchased American institutions. UBS then hired Gramm as a lobbyist and paid him over $750,000. UBS alone issues over $18 billion in subprime mortgages.) [14]

Throughout history there has been a struggle in all societies between a ruling class and the many who are not so privileged.  Toynbee noted that the world struggle takes place between a few vested interests and social justice.  There has always been a struggle between tyrants and ordinary people, where the people have made some gains and have also had setbacks.

Social movements are born when public myths are shattered, societal secrets are revealed, and people realize that powerholders are acting in violation of deeply held values. In the current era, the Internet has allowed for the increasingly rapid transmission of information challenging powerholders, institutions, and cultural myths.

Social movements are collective actions that alert, educate, and mobilize the public to redress social problems or grievances. With all the problems confronting humanity there are innumerable social movements, which have evolved and learned from one another.  At times they have come together in increasingly powerful coalitions. Professor and author Anthony Hall has called them “the fourth world,”[15] and others refer to them as the “anti-corporate globalization movement” or the “global justice movement.”

In January of 2001 while the World Economic Forum was meeting in Switzerland, thousands of people from hundreds of countries met at the first World Social Forum in Porto Allegre, Brazil, a convergence of social movements. Their points of agreement included opposition to the policies of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO; opposition to militarism, corporate globalization, and environmental destruction; and support for public participation in decision-making processes, and for the respect for people and life over profits. Social movements are an evolutionary force that pushes people to live up to their ideals and values and enables people to exercise their collective power.

When people believe that power flows downward from those at the top of institutions towards the helpless at the bottom of the pyramid, tyranny rules. Most people believe in this model. Under this model, change can be achieved only by appealing to elites, using persuasion. However, when people discover their own power and belief in democracy­that government should be “of, by, and for the people”­power flows from them through institutions to powerholders and public servants. True democratic power comes from the bottom, results in social progress, and powerholders and policies are changed to meet popular social demands.[16]

The strategy of the powerholders is not to broadcast the truth about their beliefs, actions, policies, and programs. They know who benefits from the unfair distribution of benefits and costs within the existing system. They must keep their actual policies hidden from the public, because they rightly fear that the majority would rebel if they knew the truth.  Powerholders habitually use myths, slogans, and rhetoric to sell their policies and programs to the public.

One of the great American myths that is promulgated by powerholders is the idea that we have a watchdog press. Over 3,000 people attended the last two National Conferences on Media Reform, primarily because of their deep concern about the failure of the traditional media. Lord Northcliffe said, “News is something that someone wants suppressed; all the rest is advertising.”

Colossal crimes have been committed and then masked by the media for centuries. But the larger pattern in this era of information­including names, dates, evidence, and various kinds of documentation­is coming to light at a staggering rate, beyond the capacity of any one individual to absorb, read, process, and disseminate all the details.  In turn the information is gradually reaching the most heavily propagandized target audience­the American public, who are increasingly losing faith in their government, the war, the Congress, and the financial system.

As Aung San Suu Kyi wrote, “It is not power that corrupts, but fear­fear of losing power and fear of the scourge of those who wield it.”

Fear, war, and terror are routinely used to shut down rational thinking processes­a tactic that Naomi Klein outlines in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism[17] (as well as in the video[18]).  Klein fails to recognize, however, that 9/11 was designed to terrorize Americans and the world into going along with the bogus “War on Terror,” to forget about the missing $2.3 trillion on the Department of Defense books[19], the stolen election[20], the evidence destroyed in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s offices in World Trade Center 7,[21]  to not even notice the massive insider trading,[22] and then  to permit a giant escalation in the military budget and the construction of the surveillance industry. The plunge in the stock market and the “apparent attack” on America’s financial center also prompted the Fed to lower interest rates, which helped the housing market­and Bush encouraged folks to “go shopping.”

The best historical parallel to 9/11 would be the Reichstag fire, which Hitler used to vilify and target “communists” and pass the Enabling Act (similar to the PATRIOT Act), before launching wars of aggression. The PATRIOT Act was mirrored by legislation passed in Canada, Australia, and the UK, severely eroding civil rights and granting more power to governments to chill dissent­to monitor and crack down on those they considered a threat.

With the bust of the dot com bubble, speculative money went into real estate, housing, and derivatives[23]. Congress and the Bush administration changed laws and regulations to lure people into borrowing money, purchasing homes, and investing their savings in the 21st century Ponzi schemes. Elliot Spitzer was vilified by the press the day before he wrote an article naming Bush as the “Predator Lenders’ Partner in Crime,” saying

“In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act pre-empting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. …

“Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.”[24]

Close scrutiny of powerholders running the government, institutions, and corporations reveals conflicting loyalties and economic interests.  Legislators in fact represent the millionaires and billionaires who fund them and who continually rewrite the rules in their own favor and have decided that the Constitution is obsolete.

The unfolding financial crisis has been arriving in wave after destructive wave.  People have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings, their health, their marriages, their kids, and finally their hope.

The housing bubble began to burst when home prices in the US began to decline in March and April of 2007.  The IMF warned of risks to global financial markets.  Bear Stearns was in trouble in June 2007 because of its mortgage-backed securities.  In the summer of 2007 German banks were in trouble and foreclosures in the US almost doubled. In September 2007 there was a run on Northern Rock, which the British government nationalized, and the Fed began to drop interest rates to help the housing market. In January 2008, UBS reported $18 billion in write-downs due to US real estate exposure.  In February, Fannie Mae reported a $3.55 billion loss. [25]

In March, however, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department directed money towards the 85-year-old investment bank Bear Stearns, via JP Morgan[26] and $200 billion went to prop up Fannie Mae. By April the IMF projected $945 billion in losses. In June housing possessions doubled again, and the FBI announced the arrest of over 400 people charged with mortgage fraud, including two senior managers of the failed Bear Stearns Hedge Funds.[27] In July Congress passed the Foreclosures Prevention Act, which was a $33 billion hand-out to those who helped create the problem, according to a report by the Laborers’ International Union of North America. Under the bill’s little-publicized “carry-back” provision, builders would get billions in tax breaks and the 15 largest corporate homebuilders, who made $16 billion in profits on $100 billion in revenues, would receive a third of the benefits.[28]

In September 2008, the Fed, in an unprecedented move, lent $85 billion to the American International Group (AIG), the nation’s largest insurance company, which also handled credit default swaps and suffered losses from its subprime mortgage-backed securities holdings.[29] Then Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and Bank of America devoured Merrill Lynch.  Soon there was a run on money market funds, and short selling of financial stocks was suspended globally. Bush made a speech acknowledging that there was a serious crisis, and backed Paulson’s bailout plea.

There were only a few voices in Congress that dared to challenge the current bailout of the speculators so intimately involved in created the current financial crisis. Anyone could look up Henry Paulson on the internet to discover his ties to Goldman Sachs, but these ties were not emphasized in the mainstream media.  According to Wikipedia notes:

“Paulson was Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon from 1970 to 1972… He joined Goldman Sachs in 1974… He became a partner in 1982. From 1983 until 1988, Paulson led the Investment Banking group for the Midwest Region, and became managing partner of the Chicago office in 1988. From 1990 to November 1994, he was co-head of Investment Banking, then, Chief Operating Officer from December 1994 to June 1998; eventually succeeding Jon Corzine (now Governor of New Jersey) as its chief executive. His compensation package, according to reports, was US$37 million in 2005, and US$16.4 million projected for 2006. His net worth has been estimated at over US$700 million. Paulson has personally built close relations with China during his career. In July 2008 it was reported by The Daily Telegraph that: “Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has intimate relations with the Chinese elite, dating from his days at Goldman Sachs when he visited the country more than 70 times. …

“There is increasing evidence that Paulson was influential with two U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairmen, William H. Donaldson and Christopher Cox, in receiving restraint in the Commission’s exercise of oversight requirements. In 2004…the Commission agreed unanimously to release the major investment houses from the net capital rule, the requirement that their brokerages hold reserve capital that limited their leverage and risk exposure. The complaint that was put forth by the investment banks was of increasingly onerous regulatory requirements­in this case, not U.S. regulator oversight, but European Union regulation of the foreign operations of US investment groups. In the immediate lead-up to the decision, EU regulators also acceded to US pressure, and agreed not to scrutinize foreign firms’ reserve holdings if the SEC agreed to do so instead. The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, however, put the parent holding company of each of the big American brokerages beyond SEC oversight. In order for the agreement to go ahead, the investment banks lobbied for a decision that would allow “voluntary” inspection of their parent and subsidiary holdings by the SEC.

“During this repeal of the net capital rule, SEC Chairman Donaldson agreed to the establishment of a risk management office that would monitor signs of future problems. This office was eventually dismantled by Chairman Cox, after discussions with Paulson. According to the New York Times, ’While other financial regulatory agencies criticized a blueprint by Mr. Paulson, the [new] Treasury secretary, that proposed to reduce their stature ­ and that of the S.E.C. ­ Mr. Cox did not challenge the plan, leaving it to three former Democratic and Republican commission chairmen to complain that the blueprint would neuter the agency.’ Only in late September 2008, Chairman Cox and the other Commissioners agreed to end the 2004 program of voluntary regulation.”

With the unregulated credit default swaps posing enormous liabilities to the financial institutions  that dwarf the global economy, Paulson’s allegiances to Goldman Sachs and AIG will help determine which institutions will fail­or escape, survive, and profit­in the current turmoil.[30]

Henry Paulson asked for and received over $700 billion in taxpayer money with little or no oversight as to who will actually get the money. It is clear that it won’t be going to Main Street, and it is more than likely to go to Paulson’s Wall Street and foreign friends.

Ohio Representative Marcy Kaptur spoke out bravely against the bill, explaining precisely how it was being rushed through Congress[31], and Dennis Kucinich condemned it as well. Their token resistance was swept aside, even as Representative Brad Sherman pointed out the fear mongering and panic pressure placed on Congress to push it through.[32]  The fear that was generated by insiders and the media, as well as some token pork, helped to get the bill passed on Friday, October 3, 2008. Democrats, Republicans, and both presidential hopefuls were behind the bailout.

Amongst Obama’s advisers are Franklin Raines, who was a chairman and chief executive officer at Fannie Mae; and Tim Howard, who was the chief financial officer of Fannie Mae; and Jim Johnson, who was an executive at Lehman Brothers and later forced from his position as Fannie Mae CEO.  Howard was forced to retire when auditing discovered severe irregularities in Fannie Mae’s accounting activities. The books ran afoul of generally accepted accounting principles for four years, and Fannie Mae had to reduce its surplus by $9 billion. The Government filed suit against Raines and Howard when the scandal became clear[33]. The court ordered Raines to return $50 million he received in bonuses based on the misstated Fannie Mae profits.  The government investigation determined that “Chief Financial Officer Tim Howard failed to provide adequate oversight to key control and reporting functions within Fannie Mae.” Raines and Howard resigned under pressure in late 2004. Howard’s golden parachute was estimated at $20 million.  Raines left with a “golden parachute valued at $240 million in benefits. A look at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s May 2006 report on mismanagement and corruption inside Fannie Mae reveals that Fannie Mae had hidden a substantial amount of Johnson’s 1998 compensation from the public, reporting that it was between $6 million and $7 million when it fact it was $21 million.”   Johnson is currently under investigation for taking illegal loans from Countrywide while serving as CEO of Fannie Mae.  Johnson’s Golden Parachute was estimated at $28 Million.[34]

Any close scrutiny of  the financial ties of major politicians­particularly those in office such as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Pelosi, and Feinstein­reveal major conflicts of interest between the politicians and the military, oil, and pharmaceutical industries. At the highest levels, however, there is no accountability. Laws are meaningless to these people. They have the power and influence to pass murderous legislation that enriches and empowers them and their cronies and threatens and impoverishes the rest of us, all of this veiled by a subservient corporate press that bestows upon them an aura of legitimacy. Within government agencies there is corruption, fraud, and the persecution­rather than protection­of whistle-blowers.

When Congress voted $87 billion to occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, some of that money was earmarked to suppress dissent in the US. In 2003, thousands of protestors gathered in Miami to oppose the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Pre-emptive arrests, violent violation of civil rights, brutal treatment of innocent medics, and criminalization of dissent became known as “the Miami model.”  The militarization of the police and Homeland Security’s targeting of anti-war and peace activists have continued and expanded since then­as seen most recently in the protests at the Democratic and Republican Conventions where even the regular press was arrested, and organizers were arrested and charged with “terrorism.”

There is a battle going on­a clash of worldviews over what is true, legal, and moral; over who is a terrorist, and who is serving humanity; over who has the right to live, and who has the right or duty to jail, kill, or torture anyone. Every individual will have to decide for themselves what is true and what is legitimate­what is best for themselves, their families, their country, and the whole planet.

The strategy of all social movements is to convince the public that a problem exists and that policies must be changed, and to exercise the people power that resides within themselves into a force that finds solutions to commonly recognized problems.

The perpetrators of 9-11 had a different strategy. Their strategy was to terrify the American people into silence and submission, then bully the Congress into nearly unlimited funding for war and a greatly expanded surveillance industry (the anthrax attacks came at a convenient time for this).  The perpetrators of 9/11used a BIG LIE to sell a “bogus protection racket” to their victims­to institutionalize under the guise of “National/Homeland Security” a greater concentration of wealth and power into fewer hands. Their tools were violence, fear, criminal fraud, manipulating the financial markets, and selling it all to the American people through the megaphone of the mainstream media.

Cheney, like Napoleon, believes that you don’t have to suppress a truth­just delay it until it no longer matters. There are a growing number of people who are challenging the lies, especially through the Internet.  It is apparent that those in power are very much afraid of the Internet, of people’s ability to share information and communicate so that they can organize in unprecedented ways using emerging technologies, or simply gather together in a public space where free speech is still possible.

The deeply held values, symbols, beliefs, sensibilities and traditions that are important to the public are being violated today by the power elite. The majority of people are against the war, torture, and the bailout of Wall Street. Those in power depend on the public to be stupid, uninformed, disengaged, apathetic, cynical, powerless, and silent. Social movements are dependent on empowered, engaged, informed people at every level of society to uphold the values and principles that are being violated by powerholders and their policies. Will the American people continue to wake up and begin to exercise more control over the US government to force changes in policy?

A major cause of social problems is the concentration of political, economic, and military power in the hands of relatively few people.  An informed, empowered, and politicized population is required to resolve today’s problems and to establish a just, peaceful, sustainable world for all. Political and economic power ultimately rests with the majority population; rulers can only rule with the consent and acquiescence of the people. Where people put their time, energy, and money has a greater impact on society and the world than who they vote for.  Elections have been stolen for decades; only an awakened citizenry can oversee and ensure honest elections.

The most important issue is the age-old struggle between the majority of people and the individual and institutional powerholders to determine whether society will be based on the authoritarian model­where power flows from the top down­or the “people power” model of genuine participatory democracy.

Kevin Barrett expressed the following in a talk entitled “A Folklorist Looks at 9/11 ‘Conspiracy Theories’” (folk meaning “the people,” as opposed to the “rulers and the press” who in the past have authoritatively defined “event/reality”):

“Marshall McLuhan’s famous line “the medium is the message” could describe the way the 9/11 Truth movement is an artifact of the Internet, and the radically-enhanced folk-communications it has brought. Thanks to digital audiovisuals, email and the world-wide web, the folk are now a leg up on their would-be manipulators, those well-paid professionals in corporate media, public relations, marketing, and psychological warfare or psy-ops, whose collective job is to reify and manipulate their fellow human beings.

“It is one thing for the content of informal, non-institutional, “folk” communication to subvert institutional authority. It is another and more significant thing for the very medium of folk communication to radically shift in a way that empowers the folk and disempowers the institutions. And that is what has happened. The world has been turned upside-down as the old oral-transmission grapevine has gone digital…

“Today’s digitally-enhanced subversives and skeptics can spread large numbers of copies of audio, video and photographic evidence, along with an unlimited amount of writing, for pennies. This digital awakening may turn out to be our second post-Gutenberg revolution in half a century. Its importance may rival the emergence of writing, which created hierarchical societies of kings, priests and scribes; with the invention of the printing press, which created the kind of mass-literate societies we call “democratic”; and with the invention of television, which McLuhan suggests created a global village of creeping Orwellian fascism. 9/11, in this view, was the last gasp of television as a means of mind-control via mass hypnosis, while the 9/11 Truth controversies may represent the birth pangs of the new, digitally-enhanced democracy.”

It is sobering to know that if the world’s population was reduced to 100 representatives, only 1 would have a computer, or have attended college, and he would have more wealth than all the others and be from the United States. While 70 percent of American homes may have access to the Internet, they are not representative of the world. However, an enlightened American people would be a grave danger to the advancement of the American Empire. We are uniquely responsible and able to thwart or advance the aspirations of the US oligarchy. We are also directly under attack by that oligarchy, who view us as a threat and are trying to criminalize dissent.

The financial crisis that faces America and the world today was as orchestrated as the events of  9/11. Similar to what transpired after 9/11, it is likely that the financial crisis will be used to further concentrate wealth and power, crush dissent, criminalize larger and larger numbers of people, trash civil liberties, and generally replace the “rule of law” with the “rule of fear.”

There is another possibility, however, which we the people can promote. We can join together to speak up, organize, and challenge the lies, crimes, and illegitimacy of the powerholders and corporations that threaten the well-being of the people of the world. We can create and nurture new organizations to fulfill real needs and aspirations. This is already taking place and can be seen in the rise of nonprofit organizations over the past decade. Ignored by the corporate media, Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney, and Ralph Nader have raised key issues that the corporate-anointed candidates won’t discuss. The public must search the Internet for the statements of these courageous challengers to the oligarchy, because their views are ignored, marginalized, or dismissed in the corporate press­but they nonetheless provide a rallying cry for people looking for true change. At a recent press conference, the third-party candidates clearly represented majority opinions and interests, far better than McCain or Obama.[35]

Repression, reform, revolution or renaissance?

When revolutions occur simultaneously in many different areas, the transformation of society can be called a renaissance.  We are witnessing changes happening at a rapid pace in a multitude of areas, and few can begin to keep up with the new technologies and research.  As traditional power structures are threatened, new possibilities and synergies are emerging.  If the traditional banking system or the dollar collapses, money will be reinvented at the local, regional, national, and probably international levels.

Mike Nickerson, author of Life, Money, & Illusion: Living on Earth as If We Want to Stay, wrote:

“An alternative to panicking when GDP stops growing is to view it as a sign of maturity. Human activity cannot expand forever on our finite planet. Fuel prices, climate change and the sub-prime mortgage crisis are all symptoms of one cause. When we stopped growing as individuals, it was not the end of the world. Indeed, for most of us, life had scarcely begun before physical maturity. Even as physical growth ended, we became better informed, more comfortable in ourselves and we developed the skills and relationships that define our lives. The same can be true for civilization.”[36]

The convergence of various crises­including the financial system, peak oil, climate change, population growth, resource depletion, and mass extinctions­is forcing humanity to collectively recognize its limits and mature as a species, simply to survive.[37]

In order to behave maturely, wisely, and responsibly­and to make wise rational decisions­people need to know what is true, what is real.

Mike Nickerson has been championing the Genuine Progress Index to provide more accurate information about how people are affecting the planet and one another. If economic indicators were aligned with universal values such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, economists would ignore the marketplace and concern themselves with the health and well-being of the environment, the health and well-being of every person, and whether the basic human needs for food, water, shelter, clothing, and education were being met.

One of the heftiest charges against members of the Bush Administration is their attack upon science.[38]  There is ample evidence that they have ordered agencies to be silent about their findings, or to fudge data to suit political purposes and shape public opinion.  Only Bush science, as exemplified in the NIST report, could explain the collapse of all three World Trade Center buildings at free-fall speed as due to fire alone. Hundreds of independent scientists, architects, and engineers have rejected the conclusions of the NIST report. The scientific evidence indicates that two planes could not have shredded three steel-framed buildings, but that controlled demolition does explain their rapid disintegration.

It is increasingly challenging to evaluate scientific studies without knowing who has funded them, and for what particular purpose.  Researchers whose findings challenge government or corporate objectives are vilified and lose their funding.  Citizen-supported scientific research and data collection whose intention and purpose is clearly in the interests of the health and well-being of people and their environment­whose data can be shared, checked, verified, and corroborated by others in a transparent manner­will ultimately gain the widest acceptance.

Satyagraha, or “the force of truth,” pioneered by Gandhi, has inspired the social movements of today.  According to Schopenhauer, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”[39]

The individual and human journey also passes through stages. As proposed by Abraham Maslow in his classic study Toward a Psychology of Being, healthy people outgrow the self-centered need for material acquisition and find greater joy and purpose in more expansive activities­such as developing friendships, being of service to others, expressing creativity, and joining together with others to solve problems. The deliberate infantilization of the public and the manipulation of the public mind has contributed to the current crisis in values, where people seem to be concerned only for themselves and are cynical about what is happening in the world. The cure lies in the maturation of our species.  The times that we live in are calling to us to grow up, individually and collectively. We need to develop a greater understanding of ourselves and our world, to develop our talents and skills to make this a better world. Despite the dangers and challenges of the time we live in, we can find meaning and joy through joining together in the search for truth, peace, justice, and, freedom. As Gandhi and others have demonstrated, the truth, combined with love and compassion, will set us free. As we work together to pursue the truth and expand our awareness, we are lifting the veil and awakening from a media-induced trance so that we can more clearly see how we have allowed our power to be taken from us. This knowledge will empower us to reform the outmoded structures that are so oppressive and to create new systems that truly serve the needs of the people and the planet for current and future generations.

NOTES

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse
[2] Debt Virus: A Compelling Solution to the World’s Debt Problems, 1995 by Jacques S. Jaikaran
[3] http://www.unahi.org/quotes/native-american-quotes.htm
[4] Bernard Lietaer, ex-central banker, author of  The Future of Money:
Creating New Wealth, Work, and a Wiser World, 2001,
http://www.transaction.net/money/bio/lietaer.html
[5] Money as Debt, Paul Grignon’s video production, available at http://www.moneyasdebt.net/ and viewable online at http://tiny.cc/z30uD
[6] Interest and Inflation Free Money, 1995 by Margrit Kennedy, http://tiny.cc/FQtb3
[7] Secrets of the Federal Reserve, by Eustace Mullins, http://www.whale.to/b/mullins5.html
[8] How Corporations Destroyed US Democracy by Propaganda, http://tiny.cc/UCT9Q
[9] Hilkka Pietila, The triangle of the human economy: household – cultivation – industrial production, http://www.kasakobiet.ngo.org.pl/teksty/hilkka_pietila_eng.html
[10] Whose Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics, http://www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/whoo.html
[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud
[12] http://www.citizen.org/trade/issues/mai/
[13] http://www.fuel-efficient-vehicles.org/energy-news/?p=608
[14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Gramm
[15] http://mqup.mcgill.ca/book.php?bookid=1628
[16] Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organising Social Movements, by Bill Moyer, http://tiny.cc/KB6W9
[17] http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine
[18] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kieyjfZDUIc
[19] http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml
[20] http://archive.democrats.com/display.cfm?id=248
[21] http://www.wtc7.net/articles/kimball/thirdskyscraper.html
[22] http://911research.wtc7.net/sept11/stockputs.html
[23] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8634
[24] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8376
[25] http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3689713,00.html
[26] http://tiny.cc/dYeSJ
[27] http://www.fbi.gov/page2/june08/malicious_mortgage061908.html
[28] http://tiny.cc/1dQZI
[29] http://tiny.cc/0WX1c
[30] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/business/27charts.html,
http://www.crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/60-minutes-wall-streets-shadow-market
[31] http://tiny.cc/kRIcq
[32] http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/h-r-1424-brad-sherman-one-minute-speech/11766853/
[33] http://housingdoom.com/2006/12/18/fannie-charges/
[34] http://tiny.cc/E3K4h
[35] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1LMoWqXrE4
[36] http://www.shanejolley.com/2008/09/05/silver-lining-economic-downturn
[37] http://www.chrismartenson.com/peak-oil-b
[38] http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2004/02/62339
[39] Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

“Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations,”

They Lived to Tell About It

By David Swanson – Afterdowningstreet.org

Last March, veterans of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan gathered to talk about what they’d seen and done and survived. The event was called “Winter Soldier” and the soldiers’ testimony is recorded in a powerful new book: “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations,” by Iraq Veterans Against the War and Aaron Glantz.

The book reveals two worlds that are little known to producers employed by the corporate media cartel, people who believe in threats from third-world nations, wars for democracy, surges, war against terrorism, trickle-down economics, and the justifiability of torture.

The first new world revealed is that of the crimes these young men and women committed, witnessed, and understood as part of the official policies they were ordered to carry out. Here are some excerpts from the statements of those who lived to tell about it:

“He watched the commander who had given us the order to shoot anyone on the street shoot two old ladies that were walking and carrying vegetables.”

“I remember one woman walking by. She was carrying a huge bag, and she looked like she was heading toward us, so we lit her up with the Mark 19, which is an automatic grenade launcher, and when the dust settled, we realized that the bag was full of groceries. She had been trying to bring us food and we blew her to pieces.”

“We would carry these weapons or shovels with us because if we accidentally shot a civilian, we could just toss the weapon on the body, and make them look like an insurgent.”

“I want to start by showing you a video of the Executive Officer of Kilo Company. We had gotten into a two-hour long firefight, and it was over for quite some time, but he still felt the need to drop a five-hundred-pound laser-guided missile on northern Ramadi. [Turner shows a video of the XO gloating after ordering the dropping of the bomb. In the video the officer says:] ‘I think I just killed half of the population of northern Ramadi, fuck the red tape. It doesn’t fucking matter.'”

“We were all congratulated after we had our first kills, and that happened to have been mine. My company commander personally congratulated me. This is the same individual who stated that whoever gets their first kill by stabbing them to death would get a four-day pass when we returned from Iraq.”

“The place was heavily populated. Besides having a handful of people with rifles who didn’t really know how to shoot them and a handful of people who spotted for mortars, it was packed full of innocent families and it was in no way a legitimate target. But one day the squadron commander, who was a lieutenant colonel, rode by in his personal Humvee and they shot at him. So the command went around and told everybody that at ten o’clock that night they were gonna put on a show for us. So this AC-130 showed up and didn’t just strafe or shoot a few rounds here and there; it approached and launched sustained attacks on those buildings.”

“An act that took place quite often in Iraq was taking pot shots at cars that drove by.”

“Another task our platoon took on was transporting prisoners from our base back to the desert. The reason I say the desert and not their town is because that is exactly where we would drop them off, in the middle of nowhere. Now, most of these men had obviously been deemed innocent, or else they would have been moved to a more permanent prison and not released back into the population. We took it upon ourselves to punch, kick, butt stroke, or generally harass these prisoners. Then, we would take them to the middle of the desert, throw them out of the back of our Humvees while continually kicking, punching, and at times throwing softball-sized rocks at their backs as they ran away from our convoy. Once again, this is not an isolated incident, and this took place over the duration of our eight-month deployment.”

“The other issue I would like to address is the common usage of the Quick Reaction Force, which is a rotating five-man team established each morning. If a detainee is unsatisfied with his stay [at Guantanamo] and becomes rowdy, five grown men are fitted with riot gear and lined up outside of a cell while the platoon leader of that camp sprays the detainee in the face with pepper spray. … The Standard Operating Procedures do not state that you should beat the shit out of the detainees, but I guess that some people just decided that’s what they were going to do anyway. These are all on tape, by the way.”

The other world that is revealed in this same testimony is the fantasy land that these kids lived in when they signed up for “service” thinking that joining the U.S. military was a way to do good for the world. Seriously, a lot of them claim to have joined with the best of intentions. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that there are three worlds in this book. The third is the schizophrenic world these Iraq-Afghanistan-Guantanamo veterans now inhabit, mixing pride and shame in their view of the military. They can’t help straining to find good in it, even while denouncing what it and they themselves have done.

And then there is a fourth world illuminated by an additional section of the book: the world of Iraqi civilians. I’ll give you just one sample excerpt:

“They started shooting at the walls. They even shot the fish tank. It was a dark night for us. They started to search everything. They threw things from the cabinets, they messed up the house. … I asked my son, Ali, to ask them to leave the books, they were French lesson books. Ali asked them not to take the books, that they belonged to a student. They hit Ali on the head. They hit him so hard his neck almost broke. … We always remember that night. I still remember my daughter Sarah screaming. She kept screaming and crying. It still affects her. We took her outside while they were working on fixing our house. When she hears a noise she screams: ‘The Americans! The Americans are coming!'”

There are other worlds explored in “Winter Soldier” as well, including the world of sexism and harassment of homosexuals in the U.S. military, and including the shameful mistreatment of veterans and military families by the military and the Veterans Administration. A further section explores the outrageously bad planning, poor equipment, lack of armor, and even lack of weapons in Iraq. If anything this is the sort of criticism that is permitted in our corporate-Congressional communications complex, and yet it is too little known. We still fund extensions of the occupation of Iraq based on the bizarre notion that if we don’t we’ll have to leave the troops there but bring the weapons home. Nobody points out that, from the start, we’ve sent troops into Iraq unarmed.

A final section of this valuable book addresses the future of resistance within the military. I can’t recommend reading this more highly.

THE SOUND YOU HEAR IS AMERICA BEING FLUSHED DOWN THE DRAIN

All Fall Down

James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Long Emergency
Oct 7, 2008

God knows what manner of deals went down this past weekend in the Hamptons wine cellars and below-decks among the Chesapeake Bay sailboat fleet. All these hidey-holes must have been dank and fetid with the sweat of mortal fear. Will the US Government declare itself a subsidiary of General Electric? Will Vlad Putin be roped in to save Goldman Sachs? Meanwhile, the whole noisome rat maze of international counter-party deals was taking on sewer water and rodents of every nationality were seen leaping for daylight all over the fusty old motherlands of Europe. A cascading collapse of international finance is underway. While many fixers may jump heroically into the tumbling wreckage hoping to rescue this-and-that, the outcome by Friday is liable to be an unrecognizable smoldering landscape of the G-7’s hopes and dreams.

Some big questions for the week: will the Euro survive as a currency? Will the rush into the US dollar continue even as the US financial system dematerializes in a Fibonacci fever of accelerating de-leveraged infinitude? Will the remaining Big Boyz, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan succumb to the counter-party hemorrhagic fever? Will great rows of lesser banking dominoes now start clacking onto their faces? Will all fifty states follow the leads of California and Massachusetts and line up at the US Treasury’s hand-out window. Will the entity that calls itself the civilized world be left at week’s end with anything resembling money?

Your guess is as good as mine. We’ve entered the realm of phase change, where everything is slipping and nothing has settled. The final result, when the dust settles — and that may not be for weeks to come — will certainly be a poorer western world. Will it be so poor that it can no longer afford to import anything? Including oil from the land of the date palm? If so, we are really in for a rough ride, poised as we are at the edge of the heating season here in the temperate regions. Notice, by the way, that the $700 billion just approved by congress to bail out Wall Street is exactly the same sum of money that we send to the oil exporting nations this year.

Will millions stop receiving paychecks due to the turmoil in banking? It’s certainly possible, starting with the poor drones in Mr. Schwarzenegger’s motor vehicle bureau and eventually ranging to every payroll office in the land. Will Sarah Palin’s fellow Six-packers line up around the parking lagoons of the suburban banks trying desperately to withdraw the last seventy bucks in their checking accounts? (And will their thoughts in the event be: this economy is fundamentally sound….) Will the supermarket shelves of chipoltle-flavored crunchy snacks and power drinks go empty as truckers refuse to deliver their loads without up-front payment? And how long does it take a hungry public to turn mean?

We could see a parallel problem in the motor fuel supply sector. So far, gasoline shortages have only appeared in parts of the Southeast USA, due to interruptions caused by two hurricanes. If the oil tankers quit offloading now for lack of credible payment, then the whole nation will get an interesting lesson in the shortcomings of the suburban development pattern.

The candidates’ debate Tuesday night should be interesting. I don’t expect too much give-and-take on the subject of East Ossetia this time around.

Even at this point, the current crack-up in world finance makes the 1929 crash and the events of the 1930s look in comparison like an orderly small town auction of somebody’s grandmother’s effects. Back in that sepia day, America had plenty of everything except ready cash. We had, especially, plenty of our own oil, and — you’re not going to believe this but it’s true — the stuff was selling for as little as ten cents a barrel, it was so abundant. And yet still, America in the 1930s plunged into a dark depression of inactivity, loss of confidence, and impoverishment.

This time around, things could get more disorderly. Personally, I think we may be beyond the reach even of fascist authoritarianism, because unlike the programmed industrial masses of the 1930s, we are unused to regimentation, to lining up at the factory gates and the movie theaters. Back then, society was so regimented that everybody wore uniforms in-and-out of the military. Look at movies from the 1930s. Every man-jack wore either a necktie and hat or overalls. The industrial masses behaved like termites. Once unemployment hit, they were waiting to be told what to do, to line up for something. It worked fabulously for Hitler, who took every advantage of this mentality. Luckily, the US went for Roosevelt (both FDR and Hitler entered office the same winter of 1933, by the way). FDR was more like everybody’s kindly Uncle Frank, and his reassuring persona enabled Americans to suck up their bad luck and altered circumstances. Many of them retreated to the family farm (which still existed then) and waited things out — and, anyway, the melodrama of the Great Depression soon resolved in the Second World War when Hitler’s love of regimentation led him into military misadventure. He shouldn’t have picked a fight with someone who had so much petroleum — end-of-story.

Okay, what happens here and now? To this point (9:am Monday October 6, 2008) events have been proceeding under a veneer of still-just-barely-credible authority. We (as represented by congress) have allowed Mr. Paulson to advance and activate his remedies. As things unspool further, he will be out of credibility, perhaps in a few days, and it’s unlikely that his successor will have any either. Mr. Bernanke has simply gone AWOL. Notice, he has vanished from the media landscape. We may soon be hearing the declaration of various “emergency” measures involving the allocation of food and the rationing of oil products. The Big Bailout of last week may be partially rescinded as it becomes obvious that it has had no effect — I believe about half the $700 has already been allocated, which is to say: lost. I realize these things sound pretty extreme. But forces have been set in motion and momentum rules. One thing for sure: the American public is about to undergo a severe mood adjustment. There will be fewer American Idol fans and worshippers of Donald Trump by the close of business on Friday.

“Al Qaida” Bombers of US Embassy Work For Mossad

Yemen says arrests militants with links to Israel

SANAA, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Monday authorities had arrested a group of Islamic militants which he said had links to Israeli intelligence.

The group, which had contacts with the Jewish state “despite raising the slogan of Islam”, would be brought to trial, the official news agency Saba quoted Saleh as saying without giving further details.

Israel is considered an enemy by Islamist militants.

It was not immediately clear if Saleh was referring to militants belonging to a group calling itself Islamic Jihad, who were arrested last month. A Yemeni security official told Reuters on Monday that authorities had found evidence of contacts by those militants with Israelis.

Yemen in September arrested six members of Islamic Jihad, a group which claimed an attack on the U.S. embassy that killed 19 people in the same month. The group has no links to the Palestinian organisation with the same name.

Abu al-Ghaith al-Yamani — who signed the group’s statements and was thought to be its leader — was among the six arrested.

Authorities said then that the six were detained for threatening to target foreign embassies including the Saudi and British embassies. In detailing the charges, they made no mention of the U.S. embassy attack.

The group had said it belonged to al Qaeda and threatened to attack the British and Saudi embassies and assassinate high state officials unless the government freed its jailed members.

The twin suicide car bombings on the embassy were the biggest militant operation in Yemen since the attacks on the French tanker Limburg in 2002 and the U.S. warship Cole in 2000.

The government joined the U.S.-led war against terrorism following the September 11 attacks on U.S. cities in 2001.

It has jailed scores of militants in connection with bombings of Western targets and clashes with authorities, but is still viewed in the West as a haven for Islamist militants. (Reporting by Mohamed Sudam and Mohammed Mokhashef; writing by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Dominic Evans)